Spain holiday warning as Britons risk fines for ‘wild behaviour’
UK tourists visiting one of Mallorca’s most popular resorts have been warned they could face hefty fines for bad behavior including playing a game of seashells by the sea.
Palma town hall reminds holidaymakers that failing to comply with new rules aimed at cracking down on alcoholism could cost them fines of between €100 and €3,000.
Shopkeepers are specifically urging police to issue fines to any tourist taking part in the ‘game of the shell’, which is banned in the resort town of Playa de Palma.
During the game, players have to guess which of the three shells is hiding a small ball underneath in order to double their bet, but the game is well known to scammers and used to scam tourists.
Spokesperson and treasurer, Josep Balanzat of trade association PIMEM, said business owners in Palma suffered from security issues and uncivil behavior as ancient practices such as street vending and gambling shells had resurfaced after the pandemic.
He described them as “annoyances derived from the wild behavior of visitors who indulge too much in alcohol”.
Shopkeepers say there are not enough police on the streets and are calling for reinforcements, as well as fines for tourists who play the trick game on the streets.
Mr Balanzats said: “Security forces must start acting because the degradation is getting worse and it is a stain that can spread to the whole island.”
Palma council confirmed that shellplay is illegal and part of the crackdown, and promised to put more police on duty, on foot, on motorbikes, on bikes and in cars.
They will tackle everything from shell play, illegal massages and illegal street vendors to drunken behavior and street parties.
There are also tough new rules in Ibiza and Mallorca, with Brits facing fines of up to £250,000 if caught at illegal parties.
Holidaymakers will now be slapped with a limit of six drinks a day instead of having alcohol on tap during an all-inclusive break.
Tourists can only have three free drinks at lunch and three with their evening meal.
Balearic officials have also blocked boozy pub crawls, the sale of alcohol in shops between 9:30 p.m. and 8 a.m., and the advertising of party boats in some areas.
Balearic government leaders say they want to improve the image of seaside resorts notorious for alcoholism and bad behavior.